IBM brings Bluemix behind the firewall for sensitive workloads

Companies can take a hybrid approach to building and running cloud apps

IBM’s Bluemix development platform is already available in public and hosted private cloud versions. On Thursday, the company announced a third option for customers that need to build apps behind a firewall.

Called Bluemix Local, it adds new hybrid cloud app-development capabilities, giving enterprises the ability to build apps securely and deploy them easily across public, private and on-premise environments.

"It allows you to build a true hybrid app," said Damion Heredia, IBM's vice president for Cloud Platform Services. "You can choose where you want different parts to run."

Bluemix is an implementation of IBM’s Open Cloud Architecture that leverages Cloud Foundry to enable developers to rapidly build, deploy and manage cloud applications while tapping an ecosystem of services and runtime frameworks. It was originally launched as a public cloud offering, but a single-tenant "dedicated" version was launched late last year.

Now, with Bluemix Local, "we can deliver Bluemix locally behind your firewall on your infrastructure," explained Heredia. The software still gets updates, and IBM can provide both a service-level agreement and a "borderless experience," he said.

Security, portability and flexibility are among the technology's key benefits, he said.

Bluemix Local was first announced at the company's Interconnect conference in February. It could be particularly useful for organizations in regulated industries such as banking, healthcare and financial services.

A Relay tethering feature ensures that all cloud environments are kept current. A consistent management console, meanwhile, gives enterprises control of their public, private and on-premises Bluemix environments through a single dashboard, including real-time releases, updates and patches.

Also included is access to IBM's syndicated catalog of more than 120 services that allow enterprises to construct and extend their apps via application programming interfaces (APIs).

Just last week, IBM added a new Watson service called Visual Insights that analyzes images and videos posted on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for patterns and trends.

With a private catalog and API management services, enterprises can also create, publish, manage and monetize their own APIs.

IBM operates cloud data centers in the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe.

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